The Keeper of The Sunset Lamp

Copyright 2012 Douglas T. Vale

Cover image courtesy of Artistar /

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I don't remember how the argument started. It was Thanksgiving again. Two years since my husband took his final flight and left me alone. I can't believe how the time flies. The Thanksgiving of the argument, all the remaining family was there, my kids Andrew and Amy, and their grandkids. Amy's grandkids, I mean, since Andrew never had any.

Andrew was striding around the large living room, leaving little indents in the thick beige carpet. I always hated that carpet. It was almost like a shag. But my husband loved it, and I couldn't bear to take it out. It would've felt like ripping out a part of him. I told myself how stupid it was. It's just a carpet, not him. But I couldn't do it. I wanted to hold onto every little piece of him I had left. Even a stupid annoying carpet I didn't much care for.

Placing his hands on his hips, Andrew frowned severely at me and shook his head. "Maybe you haven't noticed lately, Mom, but you're not a teenager anymore."

"Neither are you, if we're keeping track," I said. Anybody could see the streaks of gray in his trimmed moustache and goatee. Along with his thick black-rimmed glasses, his tweed jacket and bulging gut, he looked like an aging, battle-scarred professor. He grimaced, then pretended I hadn't said anything. He waved his hand at me in that angry, impatient way he always had, like he was a magician casting a spell on an uncooperative world.

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